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The Northwestern community is made up of several different constituencies who may be interested in civic engagement and active citizenship. This page is intended to help direct students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members towards relevant programs and opportunities at CCE and beyond.

Click the icons below to learn more:

  • UNDERGRADS
  • GRADUATE STUDENTS
  • FACULTY & STAFF
  • COMMUNITY
  • ALUMNI

Northwestern undergrads increasingly search for ways to connect what they learn in the classroom with what they can do in the world. Below are some suggestions for how undergrads can be more engaged learners and citizens during their time at Northwestern.

  • Register to vote in Evanston or your hometown. Check out the NU Votes page to learn all about registering to vote while you’re a student at Northwestern.
  • Subscribe to the civic engagement email digest to stay up-to-date with the latest programs, events and opportunities at Northwestern and beyond.
  • Volunteer with an organization in Evanston or Chicago. Leadership and Student Engagement is a great resource for finding community service opportunities.
  • Register for service-learning classes that integrate field study into the curriculum or otherwise connect academics with community engagement. Talk with your professors about ways you might apply what you’re learning in class to issues in Evanston or Chicago.
  • Join a student group that works on an issue you care about. Visit the Wildcat Connection page to find a group that matches your interests or meet with a Civic Engagement Fellow to learn more about options exist on campus.
  • Apply to civic engagement programs that take academic learning beyond the classroom. Northwestern is full of academic centers and departments that offer these kinds of programs including, but not limited to, the Center for Leadership, Chicago Field Studies, and the Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Civic Life.
  • Study abroad and engage with communities on a global level. The Office of Study Abroad, International Program Development and the Buffett Institute for Global Studies can help you with international work.
  • Graduating? Apply for the Public Interest Program or visit the Office of Fellowships to learn about opportunities to engage your world after Northwestern.

The Center is always interested for new ways to help undergraduates take their learning beyond the classroom. If you have any comments, questions or ideas, feel free to send us an email at engage@northwestern.edu.

The work done by masters and doctoral students can be immensely valuable to organizations and communities in need of skilled analysts and researchers. Grad students, meanwhile, often find that community-based work makes their research more relevant and impactful.  Here are some ideas for what NU grad students can do to be more civically engaged.

  • Register to vote in Evanston or your hometown. Check out the NU Votes page to learn all about registering to vote while you’re at Northwestern.
  • Subscribe to the civic engagement email digest to stay up-to-date with the latest programs, events and opportunities at Northwestern and beyond.
  • Look for ways your academic work might benefit the broader community. The GEO Community Practicum is a fantastic way to explore this issue.   
  • Join the Civically Engaged Grads, a student-led organization for those interested in making community involvement part of their graduate education.
  • Connect your research with relevant community issues. Whether you’re in English or engineering, communities can benefit from the data and analysis work done by graduate and doctoral students. Learn more at the annual Community Research Workshop.
  • Refine your leadership skills by serving as a Leadership Fellow. Check out the Center for Leadership’s site for more information.

The Center welcomes suggestions for other ways grad students take their teaching, learning and research beyond the classroom. If you have any comments, questions or ideas, feel free to send them to engage@northwestern.edu.    

Thoughtful civic engagement can be a powerful teaching tool, enhancing student learning while also serving the public interest.  Developing partnerships with community leaders and organizations can also be extremely rewarding for NU faculty and staff, both professionally and personally.  Below are a few examples of how professors and administrators can be more civically involved in their work:

  • If you haven’t already, register to vote and make your voice count in upcoming elections. Visit the NU Votes page for more information.
  • Subscribe to the civic engagement email digest to stay up-to-date with the latest programs, events and opportunities at Northwestern and beyond.
  • Sign up for a Coffee with 8 Strangers at CCE and engage in a dialogue with other faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members about working with communities and being an active citizen.
  • Participate in the annual Conference on Civic Engagement, either as a panelist, a supporter or a participant. Click here to learn more about past conferences.    
  • Peruse our resources page for research and articles on the benefits of integrating civic engagement and academics.
  • When developing programs and courses, consider incorporating field study, service trips or other engagement components. Get in touch with CCE at engage@northwestern.edu if you’d like to discuss strategies for how best to do this.

The Center is always open to new ideas for ways faculty and staff to take their teaching and research beyond the classroom. If you have any comments, questions or ideas, feel free to send us an email at engage@northwestern.edu.   

At times it can be difficult for local organizations and community members to know how and who to collaborate with at Northwestern. This page is intended to serve as a starting point to give Evanston and Chicago residents some ideas for ways they can connect with the university.

  • Subscribe to the civic engagement email digest to stay up-to-date with the latest programs, events and opportunities at Northwestern and beyond. Or, if you are looking to promote an event or opportunity, send it to engage@northwestern.edu to appear in the digest.
  • Host an undergraduate or graduate student intern. There are a variety of academic programs at Northwestern that combine class work with internships at area non-profits and organizations. three great ways to learn about these programs is the CCE programs page, the Chicago Field Studies website, and the NU Career Services page. Email engage@northwestern.edu for further details.
  • Be a site for a student volunteer group. The Center for Student Involvement and many student service groups are often looking for opportunities to do volunteer work.
  • Host students for a field experience at your organization. Programs like Engage Chicago and the Civic Engagement Certificate Program often bring groups of students to meet with staff at local non-profits and civic organizations to learn more about community work. Visit the CCE programs page for more information or email engage@northwestern.edu.
  • Attend an event at Northwestern.  Many events on campus are free and open to the public making them an educational and simple way to connect with Northwestern.  Visit the University's PlanitPurple calendar to learn more about events open to the public.  

If you have any questions or ideas for how CCE can work in and around Evanston and Chicago, send us an email at engage@northwestern.edu or visit us in person at 1813 Hinman Avenue on Northwestern's Evanston campus.

Northwestern's dynamic alumni network is an invaluable resource for current students seeking guidance and career options. For alumni, collaboration with current students can add a lot to the strength of their own organizations. The Center for Civic Engagement aims to enhance the connections between these like-minded groups—partnering civically-minded alumni with students who share similar passions. Here are some ideas for how to develop these kinds of partnerships:

  • Subscribe to the civic engagement email digest to stay up-to-date with the latest programs, events and opportunities at Northwestern and beyond.  Or, if you are looking to promote an event or opportunity, send it to engage@northwestern.edu to appear in the digest.
  • If you’re still in the Chicagoland area, consider hosting an intern or class field experience at your organization. There are a variety of academic programs at Northwestern that combine class work with internships or field experiences at area non-profits and organizations. Two great ways to learn about these programs are the CCE programs page and the Chicago Field Studies website. Email engage@northwestern.edu for further details.
  • Be a mentor or host site for the Public Interest Program (PIP). PIP is a model program for connecting current NU students, recent grads and professional alumni who are interested in serving the public interest. Learn more about this program and how you can be involved at nupip.org.

As our network of civically engaged alumni continues to grow, CCE continues to look for ways to enhance the alumni community. Feel free to email engage@northwestern.edu with any comments, questions or ideas.